Emirates suspends all flights to Nigeria from December 13

The move is in response to a recent directive by Nigerian authorities limiting flights to only one a week

Emirates has announced it is suspending all flights to Nigeria from December 13. Photo: Emirates
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Emirates is suspending all flights between Nigeria and Dubai from Monday.

In a message posted on its website, the airline said its last flight to operate between Dubai and the cities of Lagos and Abuja, will be on December 12.

"With the recently imposed directive limiting Emirates to operate one flight per week to Nigeria via Abuja, Emirates will be suspending its flights between Nigeria and Dubai until the UAE and Nigerian authorities work on a solution to the ongoing issue," the airline said.

"Emirates is committed to its operations in Nigeria, and we stand ready to reinstate services once restrictions are lifted by the Nigerian authorities, ensuring travellers have more choice and access to trade and tourism opportunities in Dubai, and beyond to our network of over 120 destinations."

Customers holding tickets with the final destinations Lagos and Abuja will not be accepted at the point of origin, the airline said, giving customers the option to hold on to their bookings for when flights resume.

The suspension comes only days after Emirates announced it would resume flights to Nigeria on December 5.

But on Friday, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority announced that it was restricting Emirates to only one weekly flight from the 21 that was earlier approved.

"We want to assure the public that national interests in all aviation matters will be jealously guided and protected while regretting any inconvenience this action might [have] caused," the authority said.

Passenger services between the UAE and Nigeria have been subject to restrictions since March.

Last week, the UK government added Nigeria to its red list for travel. UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the government had decided to move after receiving new data about the spread of the Omicron variant, which was first identified in southern Africa.

"Since we have learnt of this new variant our strategy has been to buy time. We have always said we will act swiftly should new data require it," he told journalists.

"Over recent days we have learnt of a significant number of growing cases linked to travel with Nigeria. There are 27 cases already in England and that's growing. Nigeria now is second only to South Africa in terms of linked cases to Omicron."

Updated: December 11, 2021, 6:45 AM